Well, my income is taxed at 45% plus 12% National Insurance plus the £200/year NHS levy, plus I have private medical insurance which is £1,000/year. PLUS I still have things that aren't covered. I'm currently pregnant and had the old archaic NHS test come back showing a problem and it was recommended by the NHS to have a private test done to see if baby was healthy and that was £469. So all that glitters is not gold when it comes to the NHS.
Trust me, I PAY for my healthcare, if you know what I mean. It isn't free!
Standard maternity leave is that your job must be held for 12 months - which is great. If you qualify, you receive 90% of your pay for 6 weeks. And then £112/week from weeks 7-39 (that's the maximum payout). Then no pay from weeks 39-52. My monthly childcare bill for my daughter is £1,118 (probably peanuts compared to NYC childcare - I'm not in London so it's cheaper where I am). When I have my second, I'll get 10% off the second child! Woo hoo!
Not to mention when I have the baby, I'll be on a ward with 6 other women and their babies. Personally, I'd rather pay a bit and have some privacy. And I would KILL for my husband to be able to stay with me. Instead it's 1950's style and no partners are allowed to stay overnight. Ahh, the shared toilets. I can't wait!
They are making changes to the free childcare entitlement. Changes have not yet been announced (starts in September 2017), but I've seen the criteria for some test markets. If that is used - guess who doesn't qualify? If a parent is subject to immigration control, no free hours. Well, that's me! So we don't expect our childcare bill to drop at all. Shame, as it's for the benefit of the child, not the immigrant, but whatever.
Big reason we want to move is the massive anti-immigration sentiment here. We know it won't be better in the US, but at least we won't be handing ALL of our money to the government and we'll get to keep a little bit.
But yes, the primary reason is family support. We are currently recruiting a list of friends to stay with my daughter when I deliver this baby, as my inlaws won't help.
And yes, I think a move here to have family support would be 100% worth it. It's just not going to be all unicorns and rainbows. You won't be getting any help from the government. We are dirty immigrants after all!